VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Beach Democratic Del. Kelly Fowler’s opponent calls her “extremist,” “weak on illegal immigration,” and says she is pictured with violent gang members from El Salvador.
But what did the Truth Tracker find about the claims?
“My daughter brought it in from the mail… I had to explain to her I was never with those gang members.”
That’s how Fowler found out her opponent had photo-shopped her in with violent MS-13 gang members from El Salvador.
Truth Tracker found that image unfair and false.
“I do think it is racist, yes I do,” said Fowler. “That campaign had a choice and the choice was made…to put me next to criminal gang members, to put me in their lines, and to present me as one of them.”
10 On Your Side went to the candidate who sent the mailers out, Republican Challenger Shannon Kane.
“It has nothing to do with her race or ethnicity. It has everything to do with the votes, the policies, and stands that she has to protect the folks that are here illegally,” responded Kane.
The mailer states Fowler voted against overriding Governor Northam’s veto of sanctuary cities.
THAT IS TRUE, but here’s why:
“This was banning something that wasn’t already allowed. They never had the authority to have sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities are not allowed in Virginia already, ” Fowler explained.
A sanctuary city is a city that will not turn over criminals to the federal government.
10 On Your Side pointed out to Kane that Virginia doesn’t allow sanctuary cities.
When asked, “Do you support sanctuary cities?” Fowler responded, “No, I do not. I think if you commit a violent crime, then you should go to prison regardless of where you came from.”
The Kane campaign provided a post from Fowler’s Facebook dated March 20, 2017. In the post she stated, “the enforcement of immigration policy cannot be put on our local law enforcement or the system of ‘protect and serve’ will not work. People will become victims and not go to the police for help.”
10 On Your Side called Fowler’s campaign about that and they said that it is not her approval of sanctuary cities and she does not support them.
Kane counters that, “If she is saying we don’t allow it because we are already a Dillon Rule state, what is the harm of voting for this bill
that would further prove that we are not going to stand for illegal residents coming into our community?”
The mailer also states, “she supports free in-state tuition for undocumented asylum applicants.”
THAT IS FALSE.
Fowler only supports in-state tuition, but not free.
To that, Kane said, “O.K. that’s fair enough.”
It is TRUE that Fowler supports students who are legally enrolled in Virginia high schools to be eligible.
We asked why Kane approved the most controversial ad in this campaign so far? She answered, “You looked at it didn’t you?”.
It is true the mailer caught our eye, and that is why we are doing a story on it.
Kane continued, “It is part of politics. We all hate it, but it is a part of politics that we would all turn away from if we could, but it’s the part of politics that let people know or gets peoples’ attention and that’s what’s happening.”